Pictures: Poet Derek Mahon celebrated with evening of poetry and music in Kinsale

“Derek passed away in October and was rightly lauded as one of the great poets of his native Ireland and of the English-speaking world.”
Pictures: Poet Derek Mahon celebrated with evening of poetry and music in Kinsale

John Spillane, Katherine Beug, Sarah Iremonger and Kate French at A Celebration of Derek Mahon at The Trident hotel, Kinsale. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

There was a full house in the Trident Hotel, Kinsale, on Saturday night for a gathering in celebration of one of Ireland's greatest and most-loved poets, who passed away last year. 

Sarah Iremonger, partner of the late Derek Mahon, and Kate French. 
Sarah Iremonger, partner of the late Derek Mahon, and Kate French. 

Derek Mahon, who was born in Belfast, lived in Kinsale for decades and his partner, artist Sarah Iremonger, was among those who attended the event. 

Joey and Ger O'Leary and Mary O'Leary.
Joey and Ger O'Leary and Mary O'Leary.

After his death it was noted that Mr Mahon's "influence in the Irish poetry community, literary world and society at large, and his legacy, is immense".

Colette and Maura Harrington and Kay Gallagher. 
Colette and Maura Harrington and Kay Gallagher. 

President Michael D Higgins said of him, "he shared with his northern peers the capacity to link the classical and the contemporary but he brought also an edge that was unsparing of cruelty and wickedness."

John Spillane, Katherine Beug, Alannah Hopkin, and Joachim Beug.
John Spillane, Katherine Beug, Alannah Hopkin, and Joachim Beug.

The evening of poetry and song - organised by Words By Water, the Kinsale Literary Festival - featured John Spillane, David Peare, Alannah Hopkin, Matthew Geden, Gerry Wrixon, Katherine Boucher Beug and Joachim Beug.

Gerry and Marcia Wrixon.
Gerry and Marcia Wrixon.

The audience heard a short biography of the poet and then speakers read selected favourite poems, followed by music from John Spillane. In addition to his own songs, Mr Spillane also set one of Derak Mahon's poems to music. 

Poet Matthew Geden, Kinsale Literary Festival chairperson Ruth McDonnell, and event MC David Peare.
Poet Matthew Geden, Kinsale Literary Festival chairperson Ruth McDonnell, and event MC David Peare.

“Derek passed away in October and was rightly lauded as ‘one of the great poets of his native Ireland and of the English-speaking world’,” Festival chairperson Ruth McDonnell said.

Mary Foley, Maura Ahern and Hannah Minihane
Mary Foley, Maura Ahern and Hannah Minihane

"Now finally, one year on from his sad passing, we have the opportunity to mourn his loss and celebrate his great talent in the town he called home for so many years.”

Event organisers Adam McCarthy, Ruth McDonnell, Andrea Pepper, Gráinne McGuinness, Damien Mongey, and Terry McCormick Fegan.
Event organisers Adam McCarthy, Ruth McDonnell, Andrea Pepper, Gráinne McGuinness, Damien Mongey, and Terry McCormick Fegan.

The audience also heard the poet himself recite one of his most famous poems, in a recording played on the night. 

Everything is going to be All Right was widely shared during the early months of the pandemic.

Hugh Murphy and Frances Lynch
Hugh Murphy and Frances Lynch

MC for the evening David Peare acknowledged the impact of the pandemic in his opening speech, remarking on the joy of once again being able to gather and share in a communal event.

Agnes McKenna, Karen O'Donoghue and Mary Hurley
Agnes McKenna, Karen O'Donoghue and Mary Hurley

Best wishes were also sent to organiser Maureen Tierney, who had been the driving force behind the event but was unable to attend on the evening.

Mary Coughlan and Mary and John O'Leary. 
Mary Coughlan and Mary and John O'Leary. 

Mary O'Connor and Jackie Hanrahan

Paula Crean and Carmel O'Connor

Pictures: Eddie O’Hare


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